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Family Finances

3 Ways Betterment Caters to Couples

Are you one half of a “Better Couple”? Discover the top three features that benefit couples who invest with Betterment.

Articles by Shindy Chen

By Shindy Chen
Content Manager, Betterment  |  Published: February 10, 2016

Betterment helps couples save money on fees, reduce taxes, and plan for retirement together.

Betterment’s RetireGuide helps couples learn how much they need for retirement based on income, savings and 401(k)s, and when and where they retire.

At Betterment, we want to help you achieve your personal financial and retirement goals, regardless of your relationship status.

But if you’re one half of a couple and thinking about investing in a taxable account, rolling over your old 401(k) or IRA, or starting a new IRA with Betterment, then there are additional features that may be right for you—and they are available to all current and new customers.

Access to a Team of Experts

Regardless of whether couples are cohabiting or married, separate Betterment accounts tied to one household can now benefit from access to our financial experts. By householding, which looks at a couple’s Betterment balances as one total, you may be able to access our team of licensed experts and CFP professionals to help you monitor your accounts, answer your financial questions, and give you advice.

This service may be available to you if you combine Betterment balances through house-holding. For example, let’s say you have $70,000 and your spouse has $30,000 at Betterment. Individually, you wouldn’t qualify for the Betterment Premium plan because of the $100,000 balance minimum. However, if you household, we consider both of your balances, giving you a total of $100,000, which qualifies you for the Premium plan. Read more about the Betterment service plans.

To take advantage of this house-holding feature, simply contact Betterment Customer Experience via phone or live chat. We’re available seven days a week.

Tax-Efficient Tools

For couples, Betterment includes tax-efficient features for investment accounts. By turning on Tax Loss Harvesting+ (TLH+), investors are able to offset taxes on both gains and income because the sold security is replaced by another optimal asset in an investor’s portfolio.

Our tools are so advanced they’ve even been shown to provide two times the tax benefit, versus methods used by other automated services.

For married couples, TLH+ is designed to prevent inadvertent wash sales (where securities are sold and repurchased shortly thereafter) between two separate accounts or one joint account, and it allows the IRS to consider Betterment joint account activity as one.

When you enable TLH+ on your Betterment account, you’ll be asked for your spouse’s Betterment account information so that we can help optimize your investments across your accounts.

Long-Term Planning with Built-In Retirement Planning Advice

Within Betterment, couples can stop questioning how much money they’ll need to live happily ever after, together.

Betterment’s retirement planning advice recommends to couples how much they need to save for retirement based on their income—including Social Security income, their 401(k)s and other savings, and when and where they plan to retire.

Our built-in toolset stays updated with your current Betterment account and synced external account balances, and it’s always available for couples to revise.

We use the information we already know about you as a couple, as well as a few extra inputs, to help personalize your plans and determine how much your current savings plan may allow you to spend together in retirement.

Couples can adjust nearly all the inputs in their retirement plans, including the ZIP code of where you plan to retire. By adjusting variables like this, Betterment can offer as many personal retirement scenarios as desired.

Betterment’s planning advice makes key calculations to provide a roadmap that is as accurate as possible. We even analyze scenarios for taxes, and always provide a range of outcomes—from worst case to likely case—in order to help provide a more accurate view of what’s in store for you.

To get started, just start a retirement goal by selecting “Add New” once you log in.

Read important information about Tax Loss Harvesting+ here.

Betterment is not a tax advisor. This information is provided for educational purposes only.

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